Last weekend me and my partner had a night away together at a hotel/castle and it was needed. I had booked it as a treat as it had recently been his birthday.

I knew I would be spending the first few hours alone, as he was presenting a seminar and this was fine. I was looking forward to it as my plan was to get myself in the spa as quickly as possible.

I arrived around 2.30 in the afternoon and booked myself in. The first thing I found out was the spa was just a few beds for treatments. Ah I felt a little disappointed, but it was kind of my own fault as to me spa meant Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and probably a pool in a hotel like that. It turned out I had presumed.

Finding my room in this strange castle and hotel, was somewhat confusing, though I eventually found it, our room was called ‘Sunflower’. I opened the door my first thought “oh my god is this it? It was tiny, you couldn’t swing a cat in it, not that you would want to, but it was tiny, unromantic and incredibly hot.

By now I was very disappointed, my sparkly bikini for the spa would definitely not be needed, there was no room to put my stuff out (I tend not to travel light) and the only sauna was the room itself. I was uncomfortably sweating in my jeans within minutes.

I wondered what to do. I knew I had a Coaching call to do, which I had factored in and set up my laptop, then there was trouble with the internet and it had to be done via my phone.

By the time it was done, I literally felt ill with the unnatural heat. I couldn’t open the window and decided to speak to the receptionist. She wasn’t helpful at all and no one came to sort it out.

I had been there a couple of hours by now and when my partner arrived I was not in the best of moods and was sweating profusely from the heat. It was not the the best start, though after I complained a second time someone came to see if we had managed to open the window and checked the radiators.

This time away together was really important, as we had both been working our jobs and working on our business projects, which had been taking up a lot of the weekends.

We don’t live together and rarely see each other in the week and other stuff had been getting in the way of nice time together, so this was a mega disappointment .The room was not pleasant to be in, we were on the ground floor and the window was now wide open.

Anyway we managed to chill a bit and went to the restaurant, which was the best bit about this weird, stinky, stuffy castle place, with unhelpful staff.

However, despite everything it was a good thing to do. We were away from distractions of home, my kids, work, cooking, cleaning and all the day to day stresses, even just for a short time in a crappy place it was worth it.

Our conversation was different away from it all, the only thing we had to focus on was each other we had a laugh and made an effort like you do when you first meet. The time out was a reminder of why we are together, the things we like about each other and those reminders are good for any relationship.

It’s easy to take each other for granted and it’s natural in some ways when you have been together for years. Daily life can take over, work, kids etc. To be away from it all, even for a short time, refreshes reboots and strengthens that special couple bond.

It’s good to flirt together. Personally I want my relationship to always have a bit of that. I think our intimate relationships affect how we feel about ourselves. If our relationship has gone stale or is not a top priority we can feel mediocre, bored, like something is missing or not enough.

It definitely takes a balanced amount of effort on both parts and the balance can be kept in many different ways, but all relationships need effort, because a relationship not fed with a steady diet of enjoyable interactions will ultimately starve.

I won’t be going back to that castle hotel again though.